The day started off well until the cat had her 6th seizure that I am aware of. Still no reasons, answers or solutions in sight. Slowly and surely the anxiety took root and began to flourish. It was no longer just the cat that gave me cause for worry. I felt myself slipping, but refused to get knocked down again. Instead of letting something I had no control over seep into other areas of my life and set the tone for the rest of my day I gave it to God. I reminded God (and myself) over and over again that I trust Him. After awhile my fears and misgivings were exposed for what they really were — lies. God’s presence in my life is infallible, guaranteed and infinite.
I think back through all of the years and tears of my life, really up until very recently. I knew of, but didn’t understand the true power of the Holy Spirit. There were so many times, so many instances where I could have stopped, stared up at the sky (as I have a tendency to do) and thanked, praised, surrendered, cried, vented, asked and rested. So many times where this simple, yet efficacious practice could and would have mentally alleviated even the most trivial of complications. However, the news of, “Your baby has trisomy 18, and probably won’t survive delivery, or more than a few days at most” is enough to throw the strongest of giants to the ground. In those moments, I had no choice but to scream out loud for God. There was nothing else, no one else who could help me. After three months of ceaseless prayer, it was no longer theoretical. The reality of God in my life could not, cannot and will not be disputed. What a lesson this has been about prayer, trust and perspective. Even the things that don’t necessarily rip the rug out from under my feet, such as cat seizures, I habitually bring them to God because that’s what I’m used to doing. I can certainly say that Nora has strengthened my prayer life. She has proven its power time and time again. These aren’t just my prayers, but your prayers too.
Unless the Lord had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
your unfailing love, Lord , supported me. When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.
(Psalm 94:17-19 NIV)
Thursdays have become my busy day. I was afforded luxury of getting out of the house to go to Bible study and even to help out in Greta’s classroom again. Nora and Nana hung out together for much of the day. (Thank you, Mom!) Bible study was incredible. It is a Beth Moore study on the book of James. The topic today was on joy and anguish. How the two can coexist (story of life since January!?) and even trade places! I love the analogy that was made between mental anguish and childbirth. The abject pain and suffering that is endured through labor with the beautiful precious baby to come. Through our anguish, of whatever it is that we’re going through – there is going to be, there WILL be something amazing as a result. The mere thought of it has tears streaming down my cheeks right now as I type this. My labor with Nora–physical and mental anguish intertwined. Her delivery–that first cry, her little eyes looking back at me, her second cry after we thought we were going to lose her–intoxicating joy. Labor and delivery, a reflection of our life on this earth and a reminder of what is to come. Can you stand it?
A thin package was delivered shortly after I got home from this particularly significant Bible study. It was a book that Melanie had made from the photos of Nora’s birth. Photos of the anguish, photos of the JOY. What a perfect reminder at a perfect moment. I can’t stop looking at it!
To help the sorrowing people of Jerusalem — I will give to them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, and the oil of gladness to replace their sorrow with joy, and clothes of praise to replace their spirit of sadness. Then they will be called flower trees of goodness planted by the Lord to show his splendor.